County approves redevelopment work
Money to conduct work on the second largest nondisaster expenditure of money in Genoa’s history was released last week by county commissioners.
In all $1.275 million of the money remaining in Redevelopment Area No. 1’s budget was authorized to renovate several of Genoa’s historic buildings.
Under a proposal brought to commissioners, the town would spend $750,000 to renovate the former Raycraft Hall, $500,000 to work on the town kitchen and $25,000 to build a retaining wall to keep the church foundation from eroding away.
The Town Hall was built in 1886 and was transferred to the town by Annie Raycraft in 1941. It was home to the Genoa Candy Dance for decades, and is used for community events and is a source of revenue for the town.
The church was rebuilt after being destroyed in the 1910 fire.
Rentals of the three buildings account for 17 percent of the town’s revenue, second only to Candy Dance.
“Over the past decade, the town has struggled with how to address a lack of sufficient emergency egress from the town hall to the kitchen,” according to the county. “This project will allow for the opportunity to evaluate options to improve the egress and involved the new owner of the adjacent property in those discussions.”
The agency was dissolved by county commissioners last summer with $3.6 million left in its coffers.
The redevelopment agency was formed in 1997 to encourage development in northern Douglas County.
During the 21 years it existed, it resulted in construction of the Target, Home Depot and the Carson Valley and Clear Creek plazas on the county line.
But it also wound up encouraging a project across Highway 395 from Clear Creek that collapsed during the Recession.
The only suggestion for the remaining money, which must be spent in the redevelopment area under state law, has been to build the $2.5 million extension of Vista Grande to Topsy Lane.
The road project is hampered by the fact most of the right of way is on U.S. Forest Service land. The county has applied for the right of way and the land is also included in the Douglas County Lands Bill.
Genoa has been the beneficiary of around $2 million in work which redesigned downtown, undergrounded power lines in downtown and built the trail to David Walley’s Hot Springs in 2010.